Cracks appear in Chile miners' pact of silence


Lucrative movie and book deals have been flowing in since the miners’ miraculous rescue on Wednesday after 69 days trapped half a mile underground after a cave-in, and several are now looking to safeguard their financial future. So far, most of the men have not yet spoken of the very worst moments of their ordeal in a hot, humid tunnel 2,050 feet underground.

“We can’t talk about those things, because there is a pact. We can’t talk about the period from the cave-in until we escaped,” said Mario Gomez, who at 63 is the oldest of the miners.
Fellow miner Omar Reygada said the pact aimed to ensure the real story was told about the days after the August 5 collapse. “There’s an agreement for us to speak as a group, to avoid distortions that can arise when we speak individually,” he said. Still, miner Jorge Galleguillos said the pact was non-binding, and that he would tell his story for a fee.

Mario Sepulveda, a joker and the most charismatic of the miners, has already tested the pact’s limits. In an interview with Britain’s Mail on Sunday, Sepulveda said he had at times lost hope of being rescued and had played dead in a macabre joke on the other miners.
He rejected the suggestion that the men had sex while trapped underground or that he had considered cannibalism. “The reason I am speaking is that people have been gossiping and I think it is important for one of us, me in this case, to tell it as it was down there, but also to answer some of the things that people are getting wrong,” he said.

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